14 Make the most of parent-teacher conferences Conferences provide an excellent opportunity for parents to both give and receive information. Teachers are able to provide information on how a student is performing in class, and parents can share information that will help teachers better understand their child. In some middle schools, parents meet with one teacher who represents a team of teachers. Some parent-teacher conferences include the student, and some are student led. Regardless of the format, conferences are very important and parents need to attend. Before you go to a parent-teacher conference, make a list of the information you want to share, along with any questions or concerns you may have. Also, ask your child if there’s anything you should discuss with the teacher. Sometimes it’s helpful to take your child with you to the conference so that you can meet with the teacher together. This gives your child an op- portunity to be a part of the discussion. On the following page are ten parent-teacher discussion topics, along with questions to ask. Focusing on these topics and ques- tions will help ensure that your parent-teacher conferences are meaningful and productive. Work with the school to resolve problems If your child complains about a class or teacher, listen closely and try to determine what’s going on. While doing so, remember that part of your child’s education is to learn how to succeed in subjects that he/she may not particularly enjoy. Also remember that it’s important for students to learn how to adapt to different teachers, expectations, and teaching styles. If there’s a problem with a class, teacher, or another student, first try to help your child figure out how to deal with the situation on his/her own. If you think the problem is serious or feel you need to intervene, contact the teacher, counselor, or principal and share your concerns.